Source: The New Democrat
Jayne Mansfield as the first reality star? Well, their several answers that I could give to that.
One, reality star or reality TV, those terms didn’t come into American culture until the late 1990s. Jayne Mansfield, died in a horrible car crash in 1967. So just based on that, no obviously not. And reality stars or reality TV, aren’t actually reality stars or reality TV. They’re celebrities who are famous for acting out and being outrageous. For getting kicked out of parties and nightclubs ( just ask Khloe Kardashian and Paris Hilton ) who in many cases are simply famous because of their father’s last name. ( Again, ask Khloe Kardashian and Paris Hilton )
And reality TV has as much to do with reality as people claiming to see UFO’s in New Mexico. I would have just as hard of a time believing someone like that who claims they’re sober, let alone saw any UFO’s. Reality TV, is nothing more than amateur acting hour where cast members ( which is what they are ) are encouraged perhaps even ordered to act out and be outrageous on the show by the director and producer. So no, I don’t believe Jayne Mansfield was one of the first reality TV stars, but one of if not the first tabloid stars in the TV age. Where she was famous for being famous to a certain extent, but had so much more than than beyond her goddess looks and baby girl face and personality, including a keen intelligence and wit.
If you look at Jayne Mansfield’s career, you could point at two movies that were essentially about what would be called reality TV, but about 40 years later. You could also look at her post-Hollywood career where she’s literally making her own movies that would be like what are called reality TV shows. Where a camera crew would follow her around and it would be like a day in the life of Jayne Mansfield. She went on tour in Italy in 1965-66 and had a camera crew following her around and she would narrate the film herself.
The first film that Jayne does that was sort about reality TV was a movie called The Girl Can’t Help it, where she plays the opposite of herself. And this might be the first so-called reality TV movie ever where a Hollywood filmmaker who hasn’t had a big hit in several years, but happens to be dating a blonde baby-face Goddess played by Jayne Mansfield and decides that he can make a star out of her simply because of her physical appearance and personality. Sound like any so-called reality stars today?
The second film that she did that was sort of about reality TV, was Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter from 1957. Where she plays a young popular actress who is tired of the her dumb blonde image ( just like the real Jayne Mansfield ) and hired a publicity man to give her a new image as a woman who doesn’t go from man to man and is ready settle down. Jayne, plays herself in Rock Hunter and gives an Oscar performance as herself.
The dumb blonde image about Jayne Mansfield, was exactly that just an image that people saw about her and believed that must be who she really is. This gorgeous, adorable, sexy woman, who needs help tying her shoes and spelling her first name. ( Sort of like Kelly Bundy on Married with Children ) But the facts are she was a very sharp, very funny woman, who always knew exactly what she was doing. The problem that she had is that she didn’t know her place in Hollywood. ( To sound cold ) and saw herself as more than a comedic actress and comedian who was perfect for comedies including musical comedies like The Girl Can’t Help It. And wanted to be a dramatic actress instead. Not that she couldn’t do drama, but she was cut out for comedy.
I see Jayne Mansfield, as a Bette Midler but not as talented as someone who was put on this planet to sing and make people laugh. Bette, does comedy shows at her concerts and is hilarious in all of her Hollywood roles. I believe if Jayne just stuck with comedy and music, I think we’re talking about one of the best comedic and musical stars certainly of her generation and as someone who might have had more ability than even Marilyn Monroe in this area. And without Jayne’s horrible car accident in 1967 and had she lived a normal life in years and just stick to doing what she did best which was comedy and music, she never leaves Hollywood because there would’ve always been work for comedians and comedic actresses, especially for woman like Jayne who was so adorable which was one of the things that made her so funny as a person as well as her quickness, as well as so gorgeous and sexy.